Thursday, November 18, 2021

Hanging Ornaments

Artist Judi Kauffman gave me another great idea for making  Christmas tree ornaments!  Judi delighted me by the creative way she approached her project.

Above:  Clustered Leaves L433 (9" x 12") is what Judi used in making these wonderful dangling Christmas stars. 

Another beautiful creation of Judi's:  Stocking-stuffer coasters made in much the same way; and one of these gift coasters was likewise decorated using Clustered Leaves L433....

Above:  Although this beauty was created as a coaster, it could have been made on sturdy cardstock like the Christmas stars to become a hanging ornament or ... use your imagination!

 Clustered Leaves L433 itself looks like this -- 

Hanging ornaments?  Or gift tags?  Once the thread is added thru the hole punch-created hole at the top of the ornament, it's ready to be either a gift tag or a hanging ornament. 

Note 1 :  One of the online sources of crafters' metallic threads     is here.

Nore 2:  One of the online sources of crafters' coaster-blanks is here.

Is it any wonder I want to make these Christmas beauties now that I've seen these?  Many thanks to Judi for allowing me to re-post her photos!

Thanks for stopping here today!   To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Imagination Rules! Christmas Fun with Stencils and Masks

I'm hoping that everyone reading my blog posts is bringing along that inborn gift of imagination!  My art samples are suggestions thrown out there to encourage new adventures in creative thinking. 

I've discovered that my 9" x 12" stencil Wrought Iron Gate has more applications than I'd first envisioned when developing the design.  

After making the print below, I realized that each of the four sections of the "gate" could be cut apart ....

... and having done that, I was rewarded with 8 short columns that made perfect pillar candles for Christmas cards and other Christmas decorations:

Above:  One of the 8 cards made using a strip cut from the print shown at the top of this post. 

The next two pillar candle Christmas cards were made on greeting card blanks from  They offer metallic card blanks in a variety of colors; the next two cards are a lovely metallic bronze, altho its sheen doesn't show up in these photos. 

Above:  This pillar candle was cut from a print made using 6" x 6" Ornamental Iron Curls s462.

Above:  Likewise, this pillar candle was cut from a print made with 6" x 6" Ornamental Iron Curls s462.

Shifting focus to decorating stocking-stuffer gifts, I grabbed a pair of purse-sized journals that had come with blank covers.  For the stenciling, I continued to use my 6" x 6" mask Ornamental Iron Curls s462

Above:  I had fun blending heavy-body orange acrylic paint with heavy-body magenta acrylic paint to add interest to this journal cover.

Above:  On another journal cover, again I made a print using part of 6" x 6" mask Ornamental Iron Curls s462.  The 3-dimensional star embellishment was bought long ago at Michaels Arts and Crafts. 

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Quick and Easy Christmas Cards

Try this idea for fast fun!

Cut triangles and rectangles from papers printed with acrylic paints and a masks or stencils, then glue the shapes to blank greeting cards --

On the two cards above, my Christmas trees were cut from a thick gold foil printed with several layered paint applications using my 9"X 12" Mimosa stencil and another favorite of mine, Feathers and Lattice by Daniella Woolf.

Above:  The rectangle and triangle forming this Christmas tree were cut from a print on metallic silver paper using 6" x 6" Kaleid 085

Above:  The background is a greeting card blank made from metallic bronze which is very pretty in actuality, altho this photo makes it appear as a dull brown.  The rectangle and triangle forming this Christmas tree were cut from a print on metallic gold paper using 6" x 6" Kaleid 085.  Both Kaleid trees are topped with 3-dimensional elements bought long ago at Michaels Arts and Crafts. 

More fast and fun ideas lie below.  

Pillar candle designs are a snap to make.  I buy my card blanks at because they offer blanks made from sturdy cardstock with subtle metallic sheens in a variety of colors.


Above:  This cardstock is pale metallic blue.  The pillar candle was cut from a print made using 6" x 6" Palm Fronds Silhouette Small s238 with metallic gold acrylic paint on blue paper.


Above:  This cardstock is pale metallic green.  The pillar candle was cut from a print made using 6" x 6" Pavilion Shadows s464 multiple times with assorted acrylic paints.

To print the upcoming 2 pillar candles, I used part of my 9" x 12" stencil Borders #1 L220   All three of my Borders series stencils contain 3 borders apiece.  I've cut 9" x 12" Mylar stencil sheets into strips, one border to a strip to make each border easier to use.

Above:  Like all 3 stencils in my 9" x 12" Borders series, Borders # 1 L220 comes with three borders.  The far-left border is the one used in making today's final two prints.

Altho I didn't use a template for these candle flames, they can also be created by tracing inside the openings of stencils like Cornish Petals Stencil Large by Lizzie Mayne and/or Cascading Feathers Stencil by Jessica Sporn.

Thanks for visiting today!

To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl masks and stencils, please start here.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

FACETS L283 (with 1 FIRE CHERRIES Print)

 One day, I made a series of prints with 9" x 12" Facets L283; today's post brings some of them trotting out.  

Today's first art sample is the most subtle, because I used Titan Buff acrylic heavy-body paint blended with a darker brown heavy-body acrylic paint -- and my background was sturdy scrapbooking paper that'd come in a lovely pattern resembling the raw (brown-to-beige) bark that's used for cork-making.  

The close-up below shows the imprint made with Facets L283; and beneath that, you can see the original pattern of this lovely paper.

After the Facets L283 print had dried, I added a bold red topcoat using 9" x 12" Fire Cherries Mask--

Above:  Fire Cherries Mask (9" x 12") printed with red acrylic paint atop a print created using Facets L283 (also 9" x 12".)

Facets L283 prints --

What to do with these and all my other prints?  

Below is a greeting card cover, first imprinted with a background of Facets L283 .  Over that print, I did a second print using Mikki's Flowers Stencil (6" x 6").

(These flowers also come as Mikki's Flowers Mask, shown below....)

is an art journal double-page spread -- not yet finished -- that features a print made with Facets L283 , over-printed using 9" x 12" Mimosa L141.  The combination of those blue and green prints forms a frame for the central area, printed with my 6" x 6" Sprigs s523.

Many thanks for visiting this blog today!  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Confession:  I don't fall in love with every print I make; that "chemistry" didn't happen, even when excitement led me to experiment with my most recent release, 9" x 12" Fire Cherries Mask L879.

I could have painted or collaged over those few prints that didn't satisfy me, but I decided instead to cut them into strips to combine with other paper strips, with a goal of developing a two-collage series.

First however a background was needed, so I grabbed two 9" x 12" stretched canvases and a handful of older releases:

The older masks are shown on far right in the photo above.  They include 9" x 12" Fantasia L450, 9" x 12" Clustered Leaves L4336" x 6" Sprigs s523and 4" x 4" Palm Fronds  Silhouette Mini m050.  To the left of the masks lie the two canvases, each multi-layered with partial mask prints in pale gray, pale yellow, pale brown-orange and white.

After those layers of acrylic paints had dried, I started to audition strips of printed papers in a variety of placements on the canvases.

Above:  Here I'm experimenting with placement of paper strips on Collage 1.

Below: Collage 1 as it appears now....

Next up, a photo of Collage 2 in progress --

Below is a photo of Collage 2 as it appears now....

I'm not saying that these two collages are finished.  Maybe so, maybe not!

Here is a close-up detail from one of the prints that were cut up to make these collages:

Thanks for coming to visit my blog today! To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.

Friday, November 12, 2021


 Tissue runs the show in today's post.

Mulberry paper is a thin, translucent paper containing wisps of white.  The paper itself usually comes in white (as shown in the link above) and at some art stores it can be bought in a choice of thicknesses.  The very thinnest version is nearly transparent, and is delicate to work with.  It was the thinnest mulberry paper that I used in today's first art-making process....

Above:  In the lower corner rests my supply of ultra-thin mulberry paper.  To its right and above it are two prints made using my newly released Fire Cherries Mask L879.  The bottle contains acrylic matte medium liquid.

Having allowed those prints to dry, I chose the one on sturdy, heavyweight paper, and brushed across its surface a coat of the matte medium liquid.  See below--


Next, I crumpled several mulberry papers, tore them to pieces, and covered the entire wet surface with these pieces, pressing them into the matte liquid medium.

Above:  Here is the finished piece after it has dried.  Notice than much of the mulberry paper has become invisible as it was saturated with the liquid matte medium.  But the remaining wisps of white add a nice touch to the overall image.

One word of warning -- don't make the mistake that I did!  I used gouache paint instead of acrylic paint.  Since gouache is nothing but opaque watercolor, it will re-hydrate when touched with any wet medium.  So the layer of matte medium liquid caused the red background to soften and bleed into some of the white areas of the print.  Moral of the story:  If using this technique to make art, use acrylic paint as the base coat!

Another approach to using tissue calls for a totally different kind of tissue.  I have on hand some sturdy tissue paper originally sold as giftwrap.  It looks like this ....

... and as you can see, both types are printed in metallic ink with butterflies, silver on the blue paper and gold on the beige paper.

I used a translucent acrylic paint to make my following two prints with Fire Cherries Mask L879; this translucency allowed the metallic butterflies to remain visible in the finished prints:

Above:  This print was made on the blue tissue paper imprinted with metallic silver butteries.   The layer of magenta paint lets the butterflies remain visible. 

Above:  This print was made on the beige tissue paper imprinted with metallic gold butteries.   The layer of red paint lets the butterflies remain visible, altho the butterflies stand out better in the areas that had been covered by the mask.

Thank you for coming to check out my blog today!  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl masks and stencils, please start here.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Rubbings -- Wet & Dry

To my eye, masks are a better tool than stencils for making rubbings -- either the dry rubbings typically made with crayons or similar dry media; or the wet rubbings that I'll show in the first part of today's post.

The difference between masks and stencils is perhaps best illustrated via examples:

Above:  Garden at Nemours Mask s658 (6" x 6")

In the first example above (a mask), notice that the Mylar mask's white, solid areas will mask off areas on the substrate so paint won't reach those areas.  These white, solid areas not only form the image but also serve to connect that image to an outer border.  Paint will go thru the black areas only.  These black areas are called negative space.  The white areas are considered positive space.  Positive space = the image of assorted leaves.

Above:  Garden at Nemours Stencil s844 (6" x 6")

In the second example above (a stencil), notice that the black areas form the image and have connections ("bridges") that hold the image together.  Paint will go thru the black areas only.  Here, the black areas are called positive space and the white surrounding areas are considered negative space.  Negative space = the image of assorted leaves.

A way to sum this up:  A mask's image is the direct, or near-direct, reverse of the stencil's image.  

To my eye, a mask makes for a better rubbing because it lacks those "bridge" connection lines that are necessary in a stencil.

My newly released 9" x 12" Fire Cherries Mask L879 has tempted me to try some "wet" rubbings on foil giftwrap that came with built-in crackle texture.  I approached this project simply as a series of experiments just to see what results I'd get.

Above: With masking tape, I secured Fire Cherries Mask to my worktable; atop the mask, I secured a sheet of textured foil giftwrap with masking tape.  To the left of this 2-part "sandwich," I placed my tablet of pallet paper and one of the two heavy-body acrylics paints chosen for this series of experiments.

Above:  With each scrape, I alternated between my two paint colors, black and red.  My first scrape here (using some of the tools shown on the right) was with black paint.  My second scrape was with red.  Here and there, I used a water spray bottle to thin the paints, just to see what effect that would have.

Above:  An early series of scrapes, created with an old credit card that resulted in a striped look due to the card's narrow width.  

Above:  A close-up of red and black details.

Above:  Another close-up of red and black details.

Above:  This close-up, in particular, shows how acrylic paints had settled into the embossed crackles on the surface of the foil giftwrap.

Above:  A third close-up of red and black details.

During this "wet" rubbing approach, I experimented in using different hand pressures as well as different angles as I made each scrape.

Now, a sequence that illustrates dry rubbing....

Above: Fire Cherries Mask L879 lies under a print made with 6" x 6" LOVE S828.


Above: Having secured the mask and printed paper with masking tape, I've turned an ArtBar crayon onto its side and started to rub it firmly over the paper.

Above: A blue partial imprint of Fire Cherries Mask L879 now appears on the paper, merging with the original print made with 6" x 6" LOVE S828.

Above:  The finished version.

Below:  a similar dry rubbing ....

Above:  The initial print was made using 9" x 12"
 Ivy 9 Stencil L143 with gold-yellow acrylic paint on pink paper.  The blue crayon dry rubbing was done over that print.  Stencil used:  6" x 6" Ferns 6 Stencil s100.

A few years ago I created this video to demonstrate two ways to make rubbings with stencils or masks; my main focus was on wet rubbings, but I started the video with a quick example of dry rubbing.

Daily posts featuring my newly released Fire Cherries Mask L879 started November 4 and will continue thru November 13.

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Thanks for visiting my blog today!  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.